When I first heard about Danny and Chris’s plans to trial a new inclusive recruitment process, I was excited to be a part of it. The idea that recruitment should be something that brings out the best in your candidates and supports them to show up as their best selves is something I can get behind.
Inclusive recruitment, at its core, is about drawing in people from different backgrounds and cultures to create a working environment that is reflective of all the intersectional elements of the communities we serve.
When I began my career, recruitment was based on the notion of meritocracy—the idea that only the brightest and best got to excel and land that job. I struggled with this notion because it supported the idea that the lack of diversity in leadership or influential roles was due to inadequacies among diverse talent and not inadequacies in the recruitment processes used.
Malcolm Forbes the founder of Forbes magazine, once said that “diversity is the act of thinking independently together.” While the above quote is a desired state for many organisations, the processes used to recruit have yielded group thinking and uniformity, because independent thinking and diversity haven’t always been seen as something valuable.
What sets Co-create apart is that Danny and Chris have built a model for recruitment that excels at achieving what Malcolm Forbes was referring to.
What is Co-create’s model for inclusive recruitment?
Hireserve surveyed 800 job seekers and found that over 58% of candidates would not apply for a role if they didn’t feel they met all the required specifications. Co-creates approach is to create a job specification that doesn’t put off candidates with a long list of requirements. They create a specification that can allow candidates to showcase their individual attributes, unique out-of-sector experiences like lived experience, and belief systems that align with the work co-create does.
According to Hay’s What Workers Want Report 2018, 49% of candidates would consider applying for a role instantly if the process appeared simple. The report also highlighted that a whopping 73% of applicants abandon job applications if they are too lengthy or time-consuming.
Co-create crafted a simple yet effective application process; they asked applicants to provide a 500-word answer detailing why they were interested in the role. A simple application process means that people are not deterred by the idea of spending hours toiling on a long application.
Candidates can receive the questions beforehand to give them time to prepare for the interview. By providing the questions beforehand, candidates with neurodiversity or other learning needs did not need to ask for the questions; it ensured that the interview process was inclusive by simply adding this aspect to the process.
“The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection.” – Thomas Berry, cultural historian
Having been a part of Co-create’s recruitment process, it’s evident how much they value each candidate’s diverse attributes. They create a space that allows candidates to bring their diverse ways of thinking. They put a lot of thought into bringing care and compassion to a process that can be rigid and impersonal.